Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

I wish all of you the merriest Christmas and happiest of holidays.
Thank you for your kindness and encouragement.

May your holiday season be filled with love & peace.
I'll be back next week.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


We have been crazy bakers here the past few weeks preparing cookies for Christmas gifts. In total we made six different kinds: lime meltaways, sugar cookies, chocolate pecan drop cookies, madeline's, peanut butter surprise cookies and chocolate ginger cookies.
The lime meltaways are amazing.
The sugar cookies took the longest because we made a huge batch, used a cookie press and decorated them. They are also the prettiest. I was very inspired by the sugar cookie spread in Blueprint and used some of their ideas.
The chocolate pecan drop cookies were originally supposed to be toffee chips but, we had a hard time finding them and there was not enough time to order them but, they are so yummy anyway.
The madeline's are very simple and cake like and were dipped in lemon icing.
The peanut butter surprise cookies are peanut butter with chocolate peanut butter cups in the middle.
The chocolate ginger cookies are my least favorite (but I think that's just my taste buds) and I'm not sure I'll be gifting these because their size is not working with the boxes I bought.
All in all it was a lot of work. A lot. I hope the receivers like cookies!
I may have to host a tea party to finish up the leftovers.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

angora baby booties

I knit the angora baby booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts recently for the little one due in a few week's time..okay around 8 or 9 but, you never know. I've got to hop to it in the new year and start preparing for this little girl.
They are so soft and were easy to knit. I never knit with angora before these and wow, I just love the way it felt in my hands. I also thought the pattern was interesting to work.

Friday, December 21, 2007

shake your bon bon

We made some homemade chocolates for Christmas gifts this year with this beautiful mold tray from NordicWare. We experimented with a few fillings like peanut butter and peppermint candy cane, chopped pecans and we also made plain but, next time I'd like to get a little fancier.
I used both milk chocolate and dark/semi-sweet. I'm a dark chocolate fan myself.
They are so lovely to behold. I could almost fancy myself a baker or chocolate maker.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

hats for christmas

I made matching hats for Mick and Little M. The only difference is that Little M's got a pom pom on top.
It was such an ordeal making Mick's hat and it really shouldn't have been. The hat was made three times. The first time I used the wrong length circular needle and it came out huge and ridiculous. The second time I made the hat I don't know what went wrong but it was still big and looked like it was meant for a college freshman frat boy who listens to a lot of Bob Marley if you know what I mean. That's just not Mick's style so the third time I just made it smaller and used a rib edge instead of a garter stitch edge.
The pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and I used Manos del Uruguay yarn.
I can't wait to see them wearing them together and take a picture.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

red button wreath

This is the other button wreath I made. I was able to pick up a few more reds from the store a week and a half ago. I expanded on my definition of red. Originally, I was just going to do true red but, with a wreath this size I had to add other shades. At first I wasn't sure but, I actually really like the way this one turned out as well.

In other news, I am still so frustrating to be sick for a week (how much longer?) right before the holidays because there is still much to do and on top of that I've been having a horrible time sleeping. Ugh!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

lucia dolls

In honor of Santa Lucia Day, I made these sweet dolls which I have out on display today.
I would have loved to try to make some saffron buns partly because any excuse to consume baked goods is fine by me but, I am still sick which is why I am glad I made these last week. I did consume a lovely decaf cappuccino and if I can get my hands on these
I will because they have totally replaced my former double chocolate milano addiction
The kit for these came from the lovely and talented Alicia and I see she started a Flickr group for them as well so I'm heading over there now and will add mine. I really enjoyed painting and putting these together.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

yes, there is a baby in my tummy

I seem to have been forgetting or neglecting or whatever you wish to call it the fact that I am having a baby in 2 months. Not that this little one is going to let me forget. I mean seriously this baby moves, kicks, punches like non-stop. I hardly get to sleep most days. I think she really enjoys conversing with Little M this way and they both are super into Dr. Seuss these days. Sometimes I think it's a wonder I get anything done. Sometimes I think I hardly get anything done. Ms. Amelia Plum has come to the conclusion I am an insomniac but, this is not true..I just push myself hard but, to me it's never enough. I have this crazy list in my head and want to do it all and do it now. Guess what? I got sick yesterday with a cold. Nothing like getting sick to make you slow down at least a tiny bit, right?
Well, after the holidays I'm going to take it easy a little bit... maybe...I'm not promising anything but, I do need to concentrate on the baby at some point and make some cute little things for her. Maybe make something for myself too.
The other day I actually started thinking about baby announcements and started cutting little dresses out of doilies as a possible card- an idea I saw on whipup. It actually was nice to do a little stress-free, non-holiday sort of crafting...

Monday, December 10, 2007

oh christmas tree

I guess I am a bit obsessed with Christmas tree's this year. I made some more of these soft trees. They are addictive. I really like the way the felt ones turned out. I think linen would be lovely as well.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

vintage decorations and a fox.....

Some scenes around the house making me happy...

-My silver tinsel tree with vintage decorations
-A shelf of bottle brush tress and more vintage- a spun cotton snowman, skiing girl, carol'ing girl, a little house and tinsel garland.
-And, a new fox from this lovely talented girl. I first saw Fern Animals at Renegade in Brooklyn and was smitten of course.

We bought our tree (Frasier) today and it's perfect. So far we have the lights up. I've decided to do this tree with all non-breakables. I'll show you soon.
I'm a bit nervous already about my new vintage glass ornaments on the silver tinsel tree here. It's been one day and so far so good but, with a 2 year old and frisky felines one can never be sure esp. when said 2 year had really started enjoying chasing said cats a too much. Anyone want a cat? I'm serious. Our boy cat Lux (black and white tuxedo) would make a lovely Christmas gift...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Shoppe Update and Holiday Decor

I've been sneaking some things into the shop over the past few weeks. Some felted items, knits and accessories. Take a look.
More onesies and a garland will be added soon.

I've also been slowly decorating over the past week and still more decorations to go up. Sweet little things like this help me wind down at night...making poms poms (these from merino wool) which I strung on baker's twine. Hot chocolate also helps. It's a stressful time no doubt and hard to get one's long list of things done. Well, it's Friday so hopefully the weekend will be a productive one and perhaps my dream will come true (someone will put a good offer on our place). A girl can dream.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

button wreath

So, I've been a busy little Christmas elf working away on various wintertime and holiday projects. I've been blessed with naps this week and naps longer then 2 hours mind you so, I thought I should hop to it and get some work done rather then blog as much as I've wanted to. I've been sewing, knitting, painting, cookie making and yes, using the hot glue gun as you can see here.

This wreath took many hours to complete. I'm not sure how easy it is to see in the photo but, there are a lot of buttons on here. Many of them were gifted to me. I also have done a red one which I will show you soon but, I'm contemplating a few more buttons on that one and I'm in need of more red ones so I will see if I can scrounge some up.

I'm so inspired by Christmas crafts. I almost go crazy trying to keep up with all of all the inspiration out there in craftland, magazines and my head.

Monday, December 3, 2007

mr. & mrs. gnome

I finished stitching up Mr. & Mrs Gnome this weekend. They were such a pleasure to make and the directions were easy to follow. I think they are so sweet. I have them sitting cozily together on the couch.

I am still working away on the button wreath and I've started another one. It's amazing how many buttons you need for a 12" wreath. I'm feeling a little guilty about using buttons this way but, I suppose that means I'll just need to acquire more beautiful vintage buttons.

I'll show them to you when they are all pretty.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of December. We had a bit of snow here yesterday which was nice to start off the holiday season.

Friday, November 30, 2007

sewing stuffies, a little charitable knitting and some christmas crafts

I bought some new felt from here

and am making Wee Wonderfuls gnomes.
I can't resist cute little elves.

I went to my LYS last weekend and was asked to knit a 7" x 9" square to be part of a blanket that will be raffled off for the homeless. I never do anything charitable ( I know I should) and just couldn't say no to one square. Here is a closeup. It looks like a mini blanket for a tiny doll.

I also started working on a button wreath. I was inspired by some of the button wreaths that popped up around blogland last year. I bought some 12" green foam wreaths which was all that was available at the JoAnn's near my Mom's but, wish I had went somewhere else for a smaller size or even better used cardboard. It is using up a lot of buttons. Ideally, I want to make three of these. I also finished knitting up another clutch and bowl that need to be felted and started a hat for someone special for Christmas.

I'm really looking forward to getting into the kitchen to do some baking and chocolate making soon. Yum!

So, this posting everyday thing is done now. Well, like I said I missed one day in the beginning when I didn't know about NaBloPoMo but, I did it from there on out.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I'll be back next week.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

woodland animal ornaments

I am still working on these here and there when I get a chance. So far 3 squirrels, 3 birds and 3 bears. Still to do - deers and bunnies. Then I need to attach some bakers twine and voila they will be done...eventually.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

new felted clutches

Here are two new felted clutches I finished up over the weekend and added buttons to on Monday. I love them both so much. I wish I could keep them but, they are headed to work with me tonight at Mackey Blue. If they don't sell by the end of the month I plan to put them up in my Etsy shop. I'm also trying to make some for the shop over the next few weeks and have almost one knitted up. We will see how much I can get done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

totes for the little ones

I decided to do some applique with fabric and stenciling for 4 of the little ones in our lives for Christmas. I bought the totes at Michael's and used heat n' bond to applique the fabric pieces on. The stenciling was done with carefully cut letters by Mick and then painted using the freezer paper stenciling method. The three stenciled ones are for three of my nephews- Jake, Brandon and Javier. The bird tote is for my niece Lillian. I had hoped to stitch around them too but, can't fit the piece under the sewing machine so I would have to take the canvas tote side seam apart and am not confident that I could do a superb job putting it back on with the sewing machine I have. I think the pieces will stay on okay but am debating putting fray check on the edges although I worry it might stain so I'm not sure. So...these are no-sew totes. If anyone is timid out there with the sewing machine perhaps you want to give this a try. Supplies needed- fabric, fabric paint, foam paint brush, heat n' bond, freezer paper and an iron..oh and of course a canvas tote. I kind of wish I just made the totes themselves so the whole project was handmade but there is always next time. Oh, and yes I still haven't gotten a new sewing machine but maybe Santa will bring something special although Santa still needs help deciding on the model which is really up to me you see.
These totes will be great to house their other gifts and for them to carry around their cars, toys, dolls and books with them when they are on the go. Little ones love to bring their stuff with them. I'll have to make one of these for my own little guy someday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

little trees

little trees
Originally uploaded by nancy cook
These trees are made out of thrifted and vintage green velvet. I made these last year from a pattern by Little Birds.
I have yet to decorate for the holidays. I decided I would wait until December 1st.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

striped garter stitch scarf

I began this scarf (idea from Needlebook- mine is a little shorter) on Thanksgiving night and finished knitting it in bed this morning while sipping my tea and munching my Mama's cranberry nut loaf and then sewed my ends in at the nail salon late this morning. I then stopped in for a latte (decaf for me) at my favorite local coffee shop and chatted with the weekend girls that work there -Strawberry and Heidi. I'm hoping for a walk in the West Village this afternoon if Little M wakes up soon enough. He fell asleep for nap very late. Dada doesn't follow schedules as well as Mama and put him down late.... tsk tsk Dada. Oh, like I should should be complaining.... I was at the nail salon getting my toes done while the boys were at the playground.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

cookie monster bowl

Me want cookies!
Doesn't this bowl make you think of Cookie Monster? I just had to go and get some chocolate chip cookies to photograph with it. Too funny. I've made 4 new ones and I'm going to post this one on Etsy and maybe one more but, I might gift it. Two others are going to go to Mackey Blue. They are still drying even though it's been a few days.

Friday, November 23, 2007

vintage dresden plate quilt blocks

I purchased this recently off ebay. It is a lot of 26 vintage Dresden Plate quilt blocks from the 1930's-40's. There is some machine piecing but, most were pieced by hand. They vary in size from 9 to 91/2 inches across. Some blocks alternate between just two prints and others are mix of lots of different prints.
I'd like to applique them and make a few different things. A lap quilt, a doll quilt and an applique on a skirt and/or dress. I'm debating between the various methods of applique and am looking for some advice. Do you think this would be a disaster with heat n' bond? Should I do freezer paper or fusible interfacing? I'm really inexperienced in this arena so any advice would be appreciated. I don't actually forsee myself doing this until next year at some point but, it is a project I am excited to try out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving

On the menu at Grammie and Pop Pop's
- spoon corn bread, bread stuffing with cranberries and walnuts, chickpeas with dill, shepherds salad, cranberry bread, brown rice nut loaf, baked sweet potatoes and apple, green beans, cranberry orange sauce

I only mentioned the vegetarian portion of the meal because that's the part we eat.

And, of course pie. So far, I've only had the apple which was very yummy.

There was also pecan pie and pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


On my mind...
Will we ever find one? Will we sell our condo?
Will this happen before the new little one comes?

Without any answers to my questions, I've started obsessing about more tangible realities ...

like this one

- a sewing kit from Cath Kidson- oh, how I love this

and this one

from Mahar Dry Goods which I really want to play with.

I could stitch more of these...

or make and eat these sweet gingerbread houses from last years MS

Maybe I need to drink a potion like 'Alice' and miniaturize myself so I could live in one of these...
Yes, that's it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

elf clogs

I stitched up these itty bitty elf shoes and they are so fun. Pattern here.
I am feeling like a elf working in Santa's workshop these days more and more even though I'm just starting Christmas crafts and presents. Well, I did make a few things last month but, I've got a bunch more to get done.
If only I had more time. It seems Little M is on strike from naptime...3 days in a row and 2 last week. Oh boy! I'm in trouble.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Felt Dresses and Skirts

As I finish up orders (at least temporarily) for Mackey Blue my mind is shifting towards Christmas. I actually tried out some Christmas crafts this weekend but, they didn't work out so well and I have nothing to show yet from them. I was super tired and pushing myself and I think that's why I ran into trouble.
Here are some wool felt dresses and skirts I sewed and embellished last year that I hung on my feather tree. It's making me want to pull out my Christmas decorations straight away but, I think I will wait until at least Friday. I definitely want to make more of these.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I love the illustrations of Richard Scarry.

Grammie gave this book to Matty about a month ago. He likes it but, I like it even more

Here is one that Little M just adores. A perfect book for a little boy. The fun part for me is finding Goldbug.

And, here is one of his illustrations on the cover of the Holiday Magic Cabin catalog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Birthday Cake

Yum! Apple cake (2 layers) with Cream Cheese Frosting. Recipe from here
Little M had a really fun birthday party. He didn't eat any cake though.
He ate his hummus sandwich and one bite of cupcake and one bite of licorice.
Parties are a lot of work. I'm going to put my feet up and do a little crafting before I go off to dreamland (or kickland).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Little M turns 2 & Tikki Tikki Tembo

Today is Little M's 2nd Birthday. It's hard to believe 2 years have gone by already. It's amazing what happens between 1 and 2.

Here is a photo of him eating breakfast this morning.

One of his favorite books is Tikki Tikki Tembo. I decided to theme his party loosely around the book.

And, here are a few shots of the decorations for his party tomorrow.

Okay, I've got to go bake a cake now.
More party shots tomorrow.
Have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

candy cane and hot cocoa

Today Little M took a long nap (shh..he is still sleeping). It must be the gloomy weather and rain.
I worked on these for the shop (appliqued onesies).

and made some for Little M

and for the little girl on the way

Yesterday, I bought her first pair of tights. I couldn't resist. It will be one pair of hundreds I buy because I love tights.

Now, I'm sitting and relaxing and enjoying this. Hot cocoa with whole milk (yes, you read correctly and that is a big no no for me- I always do skim) and a peppermint candy cane. I love candy canes and peppermints. My Nana always had the round peppermints in her purse for me.

Ok, now he's up. You knew it was only a matter of a few seconds, right but, wow I got a lot done.